From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
75g (3oz) unsalted butter
800g (1¾lb) piece of centre-cut beef fillet, at room temperature
75g (3oz) shallots, finely diced
150g (5oz) flat mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tblsp cream
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg yolk
1 tblsp milk
2 x 375g (13oz) packets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
4 ready-made pancakes (crêpes)
175g (6oz) chicken liver pâté (homemade or shop-bought)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Madeira sauce, to serve
Steamed baby carrots, to serve
Steamed baby new potatoes, to serve
Heat the oil and 15g (½oz) of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and season the beef. Add the beef and quickly seal all over. Remove from the pan, place on a plate and allow to cool completely.
To make the stuffing, heat the rest of the butter in the frying pan until foaming. Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly golden, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring until all the liquid evaporates.
Stir in the cream and season, then cook for a few minutes more, until reduced to a thick paste. Stir in the parsley and cool.
Mix the egg yolk with the milk in a bowl and set aside.
Unroll one of the packets of pastry onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and lay 2 pancakes on top, slightly overlapping.
Spread the pâté in a strip across the centre of the pancakes, to the same width as the beef.
Make a lengthways cut into the centre of the beef about three-quarters of the way through and fill with the mushroom stuffing.
Place the beef on the pancakes and cover with the 2 remaining pancakes, slightly overlapping.
Tuck the bottom pancakes up the sides of the beef and under the top pancakes.
Brush the egg wash around the pastry edges and lay the second sheet of puff pastry on top, trimming down as necessary, then press down the edges to seal with the tip of a teaspoon.
Decorate with the pastry trimmings and brush with the egg wash. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F/gas mark 8).
Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5) for another 20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed up and golden. Leave to rest on a carving board for 15 minutes.
To serve, carve the Beef Wellington into thick slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with Madeira sauce, baby carrots and baby new potatoes.